More than three weeks have passed since I spent my Saturday running my mouth from Scottsdale AZ all the way back to my driveway in California. It really wasn't my fault. I was with Xenia and Lori and we were just coming off of three days of laughter, learning, crying, drinking, dancing and networking with women who speak my language. 3 days away from my usual
I was handed champagne upon entering rooms (by the way; that is tough to recover from) and was embraced for my zany and overzealous behavior. I stalked ALL of my faves and grabbed photos which then turned into real conversations and relationships that extend beyond cyberspace. To be surrounded by women I admire, hear them tell their stories and then watch them be recognized for that was something that I've never felt before. It feels a bit like parental pride; I've "known" some of these women for years and watched their lives unfold in the cyber world as well as real life. I've seen them fall in love, get married, have babies, lose loved ones. All through the words on a screen and in images on social media. We've shared epistle style emails baring our souls and at times have never met in person. It's rare to get them all in one room and I absolutely soaked it all up.
I didn't take a single outfit photo although I had every intention of doing so and was feeling every. single. one. of my looks. I brought the DSLR camera and everything and it stayed inside it's little bag all weekend. I just never wanted to take time away from what I was doing to snap any photos. I probably should have. It was a beautiful property with ideal spots for outfit photos but 'meh, I was just really in the moment. A responsible/reputable fashion blogger would have. But I am not that. I'm just a mama who writes and is obsessed with honing her personal style. And that's cool, cuz I'm me. I promise I'll wear those same outfits again really soon so I'll take photos then.
For three highly anticipated days I was in my element with my people. Even though we all blog about different things and come from all backgrounds we have this internet thing in common so we get it. We speak the same language and have the same concerns about traffic, photography and SEO. We get that friendships can be made and sustained even though you only see a person maybe once a year if ever, we understand that to be vulnerable on the internet is scary and to have to talk about that vulnerability in person is even scarier and we applaud that. No one in that space wonders what we did/ do to deserve a "lavish vacation" - we know what we've done. And it hasn't been 'easy' by a long shot.
The late nights, early mornings, anxiety ridden rush to deadlines, struggling for the perfect shot/idea/project, missed activities for school or performances because of work commitments (albeit some of those commitments are super fun), missed deadlines and harsh words spoken because of them? These are all things we deal with everyday but in that space those were all things of the past. For three days we collaborated and celebrated each other and our successes. But scrolling the hashtag on Instagram / Twitter it looks like we're just on vacay soaking up the sun and the swag.
And I get it. I do. It's hard to understand a medium in which there is no real history and can only be defined in broad terms. I also understand how it appears to outsiders, and we bloggers don't help by downplaying what we do. We pretend the amount of time it takes to write, source images, schedule, photograph etc. for each post; is 'easy' and "no time really". Because, I don't know why. But it takes time to craft a beautiful post with content that is both honest and compelling and makes sense to your brand.
So to be able to take time away from all that, the social media/blogger hustle, and our families, was a much needed break and yeah, we indulged quite a bit I'd say. But that indulgence was short lived in that it was all over as quickly as it started. But it was magic. And you know what, I'd do it all over again. In fact, I've already purchased my ticket for next year.
If you're a blogger/writer/social media strategist and a mom interested in furthering your career I highly recommend looking into going to Mom 2.0 Summit next year It may be a sacrifice to make it happen but it will be a sacrifice worth making.
Do you attend any conferences for your line of work?